The first game of the second half of the season for the Dodgers (61-30) produced one of the most exciting games of the year, ending in a 9-6 win for the Dodgers. The San Francisco Giants (48-44) rallied to tie the game and eventually take the lead in the top of the eighth inning, before the Dodgers scored four in the bottom of the eighth, as Mookie Betts hit a three run go-ahead homer to left, and also made a diving catch to give Craig Kimbrel a scoreless save. The team found a way to win the Carlos Rodon vs. Mitch White game which was clearly going to be the most losable game of the series. Tonight features another great pitcher for the Giants in Logan Webb, up against first time All-Star, Tyler Anderson.
|7:10 PM||Los Angeles|
|DH||Belt (L)||3B||Muncy (L)|
|P||Webb (R)||P||Anderson (L)|
With three games left in the series between these two teams, here’s how the offenses compare. The Dodgers own one of the best offenses in baseball once again, while the Giants have dropped off a tier from last season where they had an incredible offensive year.
The first half offensive standouts for the Dodgers feature Freddie Freeman (.938 OPS, 162 wRC+), Betts (.871 OPS, 144 wRC+), Trea Turner (.849 OPS, 139 wRC+), Will Smith (.831 OPS, 136 wRC+), and Gavin Lux (.790 OPS, 127 wRC+).
The Giants offense has been above average. Not great, but definitely not bad. The main issue however has been their defense. You can try and make a team that can hit and has defensive issues (Á la Phillies), but you need to be one of the best offenses in baseball to overcome atrocious defense. It feels so off brand for them, as it seems like the Giants have always had a strong defense. They’re terrible no matter how you look at it. Outs Above Average (OAA) has them at -30, 29th in baseball. DRS at -33 is also 29th, and overall defense by FanGraphs at -36.9 is the worst in the majors. They don’t have one overall poor defender bringing them down, it’s just everyone is well below average outside of Brandon Crawford and Mike Yastrzemski.
Here’s how Anderson and Webb matchup amongst 63 qualified starting pitchers.
Just as a preface, the defense behind Webb has been poor, sitting at -8 OAA, the second worst in all of baseball, trailing Patrick Corbin (-16) who seems like he might have the worst defense behind him of all time? Meanwhile, Tyler Anderson has had his defense put up +5 OAA behind him, the 22nd most in baseball.
Webb (9-3) earned the win during his outing last Sunday over the Brewers. He allowed two runs on four hits and two walks with five strikeouts in just over six innings. He shut down Milwaukee’s offense following a Willy Adames solo home run in the first inning and cruised to an easy win on an efficient 88 pitches. He’s now delivered seven straight quality starts during which he’s pitched to a 1.37 ERA across 46 innings, and currently ranks fourth in the league with 14 quality starts on the season. That start wrapped up an impressive first half with a 2.83 ERA and 1.10 WHIP with 101 strikeouts in 117.2 innings across 19 starts. If he didn’t have an atrocious defense behind him, those numbers could be much lower.
His changeup remains his best pitch, with a -8 run value on the pitch (the same as Tyler Anderson’s best pitch, also his changeup). He throws three pitches almost equally around a third of the time, with his sinker averaging 92.1 MPH, his slider (82.5 MPH), and his changeup (86.5 MPH). He’ll go deep into games, so the Dodgers do need to try to either get to him early or at least get his pitch count up.
Overall, his metrics look good. Nothing astonishing, but solid all around. His ground ball rate of 57.0% is second only to Framber Valdez of the Astros, who owns a shocking 67.2% ground ball rate.
Anderson grabbed his tenth win of the season in his last outing, coming 7/14 against St. Louis. He went six scoreless innings, allowing three hits and two walks while striking out four. He didn’t face much stress in the outing, allowing only one extra-base hit, and no Cardinal made it to third base against him. He finished his first half with his third straight quality start and eighth overall this season. Anderson isn’t racking up huge strikeout numbers, but he’s thriving thanks in part to a career-best 1.6 BB/9 and 4.4% walk rate. He’s been huge for the Dodgers as the staff has been hit with multiple injuries this season, posting a 2.96 ERA and 1.02 WHIP over 97.1 innings while becoming the seventh major-league pitcher to reach 10 victories. That tenth victory probably was essential in getting onto the All-Star team.
Anderson looks great by all these metrics.
Either way, they both likely deserved to be All-Star’s, and both have been among the top 20 starting pitchers this season.
Some fun facts by Eric.
Justin Turner should take a few days off, as he’s finally finding his swing and doesn’t need to risk making an injury worse.
It’s possible Dustin May is back in August and that’s incredibly exciting.
First pitch is at 7:10 PM PDT on SNLA and MLB Network.